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Gummy Smile

A ‘gummy’ smile happens, as the name suggests when more of your gums show than your teeth when you smile. It’s very common and can be treated by our Specialist Periodontists. Some people describe the condition as having ‘short’ teeth – although it’s more likely your teeth are standard length, just covered by excess gum tissue. There are other factors that can cause gummy smiles too, therefore, the first thing we will do is establish the cause of your gummy smile.

Causes of gummy smiles:


  • Excess gum tissue covering the teeth

  • Having worn-down teeth

  • Having a high lip line

  • Hyperactive lip elevator muscle

  • Certain genetic conditions affecting the jaw

  • Altered passive eruption


The treatment will depend on the cause. For excessive gum tissue and worn teeth, crown lengthening is a common treatment. This involves removing and reshaping excess gum tissue and bone to expose more of your natural teeth. This can be performed on one tooth or several teeth and is also sometimes performed before restorative treatment such as crowns. In some cases, laser treatment is available to remove excess gum tissue.

If your teeth are very worn-down or naturally short, we may recommend dental veneers or crowns. These could be made of porcelain or a composite, tooth-coloured material, and will restore your teeth to their natural length.

Orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign (invisible braces) can be used for some genetic conditions affecting the jaw, while surgery can correct hyperactive lip elevator muscles. In some cases, Botox can also be used to control these muscles, although this treatment would require repeating every few months.

To discuss the best options to cure your gummy smile, you should speak to us.

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